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Can I sue over deleted cctv?

OpenEye

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Nov 7, 2007
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#1
I got my bag stolen in a bar and i highly suspected it was one of the staff. I requested the cctv footage but they refused to give it to me. FInally the police went there and they told them they had checked it and there was nothing interesting on there so they deleted it....can I sue them for the cost of my loses?
This was in a bar in London by the way! Thanks in advance for your answers
This was in a bar in London by the way! Thanks in advance for your answers
it was not a chain, just a little bar. I reported immediately to the police and requested to see the footage straight after that. I asked again and again each day after with no luck! I asked in person not in a letter so maybe I messed up there. Whats so bad about it is that another bag got stolen after and they looked at the cctv for that and the guy was arrested..why would they not do this for me?! I heard that if they do not show you the footage within 40 days they are liable for you loses...this was in an artical in the guardian!
 

gasman

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#2
Hi open eye,

Most bars systems are not the best you get what you pay for, also most venues only keep the tapes for approx 10 days and then reuse the tapes if they using that type of system, also the possibility they did not show you the footage is data protection act, or they did not have any footage to show because there system is a dummy system. As for sueing them for the loss of property I'm not sure best is to get advice from your local citizens advice beurea, they may be able to high light on what steps you can take.
 

rescueme

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#3
They have no legal responsibility to show you any CCTV. The Police would view it and make any decisions from there, you wouldn't be viewing any CCTV unless the Police showed it to you as part of their investigation.

As for trying to sue the bar for your losses - the bar has no responsibilty for your belongings so I am not sure how it is their fault!?
 

Marian

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#4
Mate watch you language please, there is no need of it in these forums.

Regarding CCTV, old video tape systems recording on VHS are usually kept for about a week due to amount off tapes you have to store, on new HDD systems it can be stored as long as the HDD capacity allows, usually it is up to about a month and then it loops and rewrites same space, but if there is any thing you want to keep you can burn it on CD or DVD.

There is no law saying that you must have CCTV system in operation unless for example local council in issued licence specified so.
It's not surprising for me thay they din't have it, many venues although they have the system, they don't have anybody taking care of equipment, so effectively it is not working or working poorly, so if police asks they rather say they din't catch anything on it instead of admiting it wasn't working, because for example tape wasn't there, it is sad but true and common.

But most important however, is that your coat, or bag if not left in the cloakroom is YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY, and most of the venues will inform about it on separate board at the entrance, otherway anyone could sue them for his/her own recklessness.
 

coffeegirl

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#5
Nice to see so wonderful comments!

Yeah the police might got no clue from the surveillance system .

a). CCTV system ( DVR) will cover the former record when the HDD has no more space.

b). Some CCTV system can set certain zone on the screen to record. Like our DVR would divide the detected screen to 16x12 zones, only the appointed zone have any motion will cause the system to record..

If unluckily your venues is not in the detective zone, police will see no more record.

So I think it might be a little troublesome to sue them.
 

kensplace

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#6
You should get in touch with the ICO (Information Commissioners office) as it sounds like the bar may be in breach of the data protection act, as they have to assess each request for footage, and provide footage as long as it is not in breach with the act.

If you kept asking, and they refused without reason, I would find out what the ICO has to say, if they breached the DPA you may be in a position to seek legal advice for suiing them...

Im not a lawyer, so always seek legal advice to be on the safe side!
 

Mrburns

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#7
"They have no legal responsibility to show you any CCTV."

They do if registered with the data protection act. you can request any information stored on yourself, this incldes video footage. They can charge you an admin fee for processing e.t.c.

Pretty much there is nothing you can do, becuase there requirement is to meet their lisencing agreement, so if that agreement states only 10 days for exmaple thats the length they have to keep footage. i belive most places are getting upgraded to 30 days now on renewal of their liscence.
 

sinx9

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#8
most clubs and bars ive worked at now have digital recorders ie hardrive and the footage is kept for 28 days
hope that helps
 

Basha72

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#9
Some Places are just storing for 7-10 days depending on size of their HDD or the amount of camera's on the system, in most cases the less time stored the greater the quality of the images, better frame rate ect capturing better images ..instead of the one second they are in view the next the are halfway out of the venue" you know what I mean" unless your venue as mega money and as the best of the best.

Most people will raise an issue with the venue/Shopping mall etc within a few days, so the chance is greater of getting images before they are over written.

Any good CCTV set up will have data subject access forms all set up for the venues they are in place with. And as others have said sometimes an admin fee is charged for the time taken to search etc and copy to disc etc. Template letters should be in place. Ie we were unable to find any images of you at said time and place, if you are un happy with thes finding please re contact us... etc. All this should be done within the 40 days of the CCTV owners receiving the request for images, and again this should be logged, the idea of the logs is should someone complain you can provide evidence that you have followed yur COP and complied with the ICO CCTV COP also.

There is a case that exist of the Car phone wherehouse, that did not follow the COP, they did not provide or acknowledge data request sent in by people and have been done by the ICO. So some of the Set up out ther will get done if they don't follow the COP but there are many others out there that don't and still get away with it !!


Lets remember that these Camera's are there to protect us aswell as the customers, so having an upto date and accurate system in place will be the best for all concerned. :)

Basha72
 

VICTORMACE

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#10
Bars or clubs are under absolutely no obligation to show any footage caught on camera to anybody even the police unless the police have a warrant to view the footage. Remember CCTV works two ways and only to the bars advantage, the bar can use it to prosecute violent offenders damaging their business and reputation which is a valid point or when something happens like the theft of a coat or handbag and I dont mean in any way to belittle anyones loses but its not a huge crime by any means the bar will simply refuse to allow the footage to be seen or will erase the said footage as this minor crime will draw too much police attention to the bar.In all the years I've looked after bars and clubs I've never heard of anyone sueing a bar for loss handbag, coat or mobile phone. Sorry but thats the way it is.
 

Basha72

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#11
If the Bar club is storing Data of a personal nature ie images that a person may be identified by, then they should be registered with the ICO stating in what way they are storing data and why

How do I know whether the Data Protection Act applies to my business/organisation?
The Act will usually apply unless you are an individual holding personal information for your own domestic use, eg an address book.

from Devon and Cornwall Police :-

Data Protection and Evidence Handling​
Normally business premises will be using their cameras for the
protection and safety of its staff and patrons with an objective of
preventing or deterring crime. As such video evidence may be
needed to be obtained from the system for the purpose of a
prosecution by the Police. It is therefore essential that the CCTV
system be registered with the Information Commissioner and has at​
least a basic Code of Practice.

So I would say that a pub club would need to register £35 per year !! not much to be to stay on the better side of the law

Ref Police Powers :-

Section 19 (3) Police & Criminal Evidence, 1984​
If a Constable is lawfully on the premises then they “may seize anything which is on the premises if he has reasonable grounds for believing :
a)​
that it is evidence in relation to an offence which he is investigating or any other offences

and

b)​
that it is necessary to seize it in order to prevent the evidence being
concealed, lost, altered or destroyedâ€.

Section 19, (4) Police & Criminal Evidence Act, 1984
“The constable may require any information which is contained on a computer and is accessible from the premises to be produced in a form in which it can be taken away and in which it is visible and legible if he has grounds for believing :

a)​
that:
i) it is evidence in relation to an offence which he is investigating or
any other offence;

or​
ii) it has been obtained in the commission of an offence
and​
b)​
that it is necessary to do so in order to prevent it being concealed lost or destroyedâ€.

‘Lawfully on premises’ includes Police Officers being ‘invited’ onto the premises by someone who is entitled to do so as well as being present by some other lawful authority such as search warrant.

In practical terms the Constable may take physical possession of original video tapes and / or copies and CD copies of media stored on a digital recording device such as the computer hard drive.

The better we look after our CCTV systems and work to the ACOP people will have more faith in the systems, other than asuming staff would have deleted it etc or the tapes not working etc etc.

Basha 72

 

kensplace

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#12
Bars or clubs are under absolutely no obligation to show any footage caught on camera to anybody even the police unless the police have a warrant to view the footage. Remember CCTV works two ways and only to the bars advantage, the bar can use it to prosecute violent offenders damaging their business and reputation which is a valid point or when something happens like the theft of a coat or handbag and I dont mean in any way to belittle anyones loses but its not a huge crime by any means the bar will simply refuse to allow the footage to be seen or will erase the said footage as this minor crime will draw too much police attention to the bar.In all the years I've looked after bars and clubs I've never heard of anyone sueing a bar for loss handbag, coat or mobile phone. Sorry but thats the way it is.

Not true, if they are DPA registered, which they should be then they have to follow the rules, part of which are the previously mentioned subject access requests for footage.


You cant operate a business, have CCTV of the public in that business and ignore requests for footage, as you would be in clear breach of the DPA.

Any bar that tells you otherwise, especially if the facts are shown to them, deserves reporting to the ICO. (In the UK that is, other places will have different rules.)
 

Mrburns

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#13
"Not true, if they are DPA registered, which they should be then they have to follow the rules, part of which are the previously mentioned subject access requests for footage.


You cant operate a business, have CCTV of the public in that business and ignore requests for footage, as you would be in clear breach of the DPA."

yep thats right. infact i hada request this week for footage from on of my clients systems (civil car damege) lol

:)
 

VICTORMACE

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#14
I know of no Bar or Club in Belfast that is ICO or DPA registered certainly none of the places that I have worked and I have worked in many. I have worked in places that have just told the police that the cameras did not catch anything and the police seem to accept it, when in fact I have known the cameras did catch something, and I have been threatened to keep quiet. I know this is wrong but you must take into consideration the fact that a lot of the door security in Belfast is paramilitary run and some of the bars and clubs are actually owned by paramilitaries and drug dealers who have a less than cordial relationship with the police. A lot of the legally owned bar owners take the view that you should have looked after your own stuff and dont think for a minute that a crime was committed on their premises, this is also very wrong. Hope you all will be understanding with these opinions as I'm only stating the circumstances in which I sometimes have to work.
 

Mrburns

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#15
victormace - no fair enough chap i can understand where your coming from. the law is not used properly when it comes to cctv in england as most the coppers don't understand it fully. Not good your having to work in that kind of environment. Would be so easy for someone to sqrew you over if everything is that corrupt.

However that does not change the fact that under uk law all cctv systems used to meet licensing requirements in a licensed premiss must be registered in accordance with the dpa.
 

Mattie03

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#16
This could just be a lesson for you to keep an eye on your belongings. No one is responsible for it but you. You can't sue them if they can't show you anything. Even the police said there's nothing to show. Just be very careful with your stuff where ever you go so that it wont happen again. :)

________________
Get secured with CCTV security cameras
 

mac1234

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#17
You have the right to see CCTV images of you and to ask for a copy of them. The organisation must provide them within 40 calendar days of your request, and you may be asked to pay a fee of up to £10 (this is the maximum charge, set by Parliament). This is called a Subject Access Request. You will need to provide details to help the operator to establish your identity as the person in the pictures, and to help them find the images on their system.
look up the Information Commissioner’s Office .this will explain all
the mac.
 

mac1234

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#18
Not true, if they are DPA registered, which they should be then they have to follow the rules, part of which are the previously mentioned subject access requests for footage.


You cant operate a business, have CCTV of the public in that business and ignore requests for footage, as you would be in clear breach of the DPA.

Any bar that tells you otherwise, especially if the facts are shown to them, deserves reporting to the ICO. (In the UK that is, other places will have different rules.)
true true true
 

ilk

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#19
You have the right to see CCTV images of you and to ask for a copy of them. The organisation must provide them within 40 calendar days of your request, and you may be asked to pay a fee of up to £10 (this is the maximum charge, set by Parliament). This is called a Subject Access Request. You will need to provide details to help the operator to establish your identity as the person in the pictures, and to help them find the images on their system.
look up the Information Commissioner’s Office .this will explain all
the mac.
But only if the image has not been overwritten.

The DPA also says that the images should be retained for the minimum period applicable to the use. In a small retail environment this can be as little as 7 days.

Ilkie
 

Bubba

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#20
All very good points, but boys and girls, you may wish to note the date of the original question... I think the chances of anything still being on tape now are exceptionally slim.

Rather than answering a question that was asked over 3 years ago, Mac, why not pop over to the introductions section of the forum and introduce yourself to us all.
All the best
Bubba
 
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